A history of Sound

    Old Guitar

In The Beginning

Shadow Electronics was founded in 1971 in Erlangen, Germany by Joe Marinic who continues to own and operate the company today. The original concept was to make solid body guitars and pickups, but Joe ultimately decided to focus solely on pickups. 

Not long after the company’s founding, Shadow invented the world’s first undersaddle pickup (“Shadow 1”) for acoustic and classical guitars. The world’s first violin pickup wasn’t far behind.

New inventions



During these years, Shadow continued to lead the way in the design and manufacture of pickups with inventions like the first endpin output jack for acoustic guitar and the first dual pickup system, which combined both an undersaddle and magnetic bridge pickup into one system.


The invention of the first piezo bridge for electric guitars and the world’s first active humbucker with a built-in equalizer were major Shadow milestones during the late ‘70s and early ‘80s. Jazz legend Attila Zoller and Shadow also co-designed a new jazz guitar pickup (SH AZ 48) during this period.


Guitar production



Shadow began producing guitars in Germany in 1987 using their cutting edge production and manufacturing techniques. Being in control of all aspects of their guitar and pickup production allowed Shadow to match their systems specifically to each guitar for the most complimentary sound.  



In recent years

2004- onward

Shadow invents new pickup technologies

More recently, Shadow developed the revolutionary NanoFlex transducer and NanoMAG magnetic pickup systems. Shadow also debuted their Panaflex system, which utilizes a dual NanoFlex pickup mounted under the saddle for independent tone and volume control for the low and high strings. The NanoMAG4 pickup for mandolin which allows players to adjust the volume on individual strings was also released.


In 2010, Shadow continued to expand on the individual string pickup concept when they released the NanoFlex6 hexaphonic guitar pickup. This pickup gives acoustic guitar players individual volume control over each guitar string using a specialized 6 sensor NanoFlex pickup.